Catholic Charities Community Services of New York Staff Attorney in New York, New York


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Staff Attorney

Location: New York, NY

FLSA Status: Full Time, Exempt

Classification: Professional

Department: Immigrant and Refugee Services Division: Unaccompanied Minors Program

Reports to: Supervising Attorney

Supervisory Responsibilities: No

Summary: The Unaccompanied Minors Program serves unaccompanied immigrant children who are detained temporarily by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in juvenile facilities in the lower Hudson Valley, Long Island, and New York City. The staff attorney will work with a team to provide services to children who are, or have been, in ORR detention. The position includes extensive contact with youth, including youth who have suffered abuse, abandonment, neglect, or other trauma. It requires significant time in state court and in immigration court in New York City.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned.

Unaccompanied Minors Program:

  • Provide services to children who are detained in Office of Refugee Resettlement shelter facilities throughout downstate New York. Core services include: Know Your Rights presentations, legal intake interviews, legal referrals and follow-up assistance.

  • Prepare detained minors for immigration court, and appear as friend-of-the-court at hearings for detained minors.

  • Represent detained unaccompanied minors applying for voluntary departure in the immigration court.

  • Provide direct representation to some detained and released unaccompanied minors. This requires representation before the USCIS and EOIR in cases involving asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), Voluntary Departure, U visas, and other relief, and representation in New York State courts to obtain orders necessary for SIJS.

  • Advise, train and manage, as needed, migration counselors in individual legal screenings, legal referrals, and related matters, and also in stakeholder communications.

  • Maintain strong working relationships with program stakeholders, including funders; shelter staff; state and local social service providers; and ORR, DHS, USCIS, and EOIR.

  • Comply with program reporting requirements, such as maintaining monthly statistics and case reports, and reporting to stakeholders.

  • Maintain and update electronic and paper case files.

  • Train, mentor and manage legal interns, fellows and volunteers for work on individual cases, presentations, legal screenings, and related work.

  • Provide in-house and outreach trainings, presentations, and workshops, as directed.

    Legal Orientation Program for Custodians (LOPC)

  • As necessary, present to custodians of unaccompanied minors who have been released in the New York City area, and provide social service, legal, and other referrals.

  • As necessary, train and manage volunteers and interns to provide presentations and provide follow-up services.

Position Type and Expected Hours of Work:

This is a full-time position. Days and hours of work are 9:00 AM to 5 PM Monday - Friday. Additional hours may be required to meet court and program deadlines, or client needs.

Working conditions and physical demands required:

The demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

  • Travel at least 50% of the time using public transportation, traverse city streets; occasionally ascend/descend stairs, and be exposed to outside weather conditions.

  • Sit at a work station and use a computer at least 30% of the time.

  • Carry a laptop to offsite work locations.


Education and/or experience required:

  • Juris Doctor.

  • At least one year of post-JD experience in immigration law and/or family law.

  • Admission to New York Bar, and/or will consider applicants admitted to the bar from other states.

Skills, Licenses, and/or competencies required:

  • Fluency in Spanish.

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.

  • Excellent interpersonal skills, maturity, and an ability to work both independently and in a highly collaborative team environment.

  • Excellent organizational, project management and computer skills.

  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest law, particularly to children’s issues and/or immigration.

  • Ability to travel throughout the five boroughs, the Archdiocese and Long Island.